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 February 5, 2024

Biden Title IX rule could change Trump-era rules protecting men from false accusations

The Biden administration's Education Department is on the brink of finalizing a rule that could potentially overhaul the sexual harassment and assault reforms implemented during the Trump era, sparking concerns about the implications for men on college campuses.

The proposed rule, currently in the works, is viewed with apprehension for its potential to undermine key aspects of Title IX regulations.

The White House statement

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Biden-Harris Administration expressed their commitment to providing students with an educational environment free from sex-based discrimination.

The proposed rule, initially introduced in 2022, is framed as a measure to fortify protections for students, particularly focusing on sexual harassment and LGBTQI+ students.

The impending changes have raised eyebrows, with critics voicing fears that the proposed modifications may compromise the safeguards established during the Trump administration.

There are concerns that the new rule might impact the adjudication process related to sexual misconduct on college campuses, potentially exposing men to heightened risks.

The Education Department

The Education Department is under scrutiny regarding self-imposed deadlines and potential delays in finalizing the rule, leading to questions about the implementation timeline.

While the initial target date for both sexual misconduct and athletics eligibility rules was March 2024, the department is still reviewing the latter. The release timing of the final sexual misconduct rule now rests with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, subject to a limited 90-day review period.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona's proposed changes to the non-discrimination clause mark a significant departure. The rule aims to ban "all forms of sex discrimination," encompassing elements such as sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy-related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Critics argue that the broadened definitions could empower Title IX administrators to interpret discrimination more subjectively, potentially impacting due process.

Impacting Transgender issues

Notably, the proposed rule addressing transgender athletes has encountered legal challenges from states with existing bans on transgender sports participation.

Cardona released a rule in April 2023 to enhance transgender students' rights to participate in sports teams, but the proposal faced over 150,000 comments and limitations on its scope. The department is still reviewing a second rule related to athletics, considering the substantial public feedback received.

The Education Department and the Biden administration are proceeding with the publication of the rule, with some speculating that it might be strategically scheduled on a Friday afternoon during a holiday weekend to manage potential political repercussions.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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